rust spots under paint on house exterior, best way to deal with?

I'm in a 40 year old home with what I believe is cedar siding. Some of the nails are showing rust through the paint.
Can I simply countersink them 1/8 to 1/4 inch, fill with an exterior spackle, sand, then prep and paint the exterior as normal? On examination the heads of the nails appear to be in good shape (IOW, there doesn't appear to be serious corrosion).
Advice appreciated.
djb
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Exterior Spackle , it wont help. . Was it stained or painted , latex -oil ? Rusting could be untreated nails. best would be metal oil paint on the head of bare metal and some caulk.
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<< Can I simply countersink them 1/8 to 1/4 inch, fill with an exterior spackle, sand, then prep and paint the exterior as normal? >>
For a permanent fix, pull the nails out, replace with stainless steel ring shank nails or SS screws.Since the problem will be more prevalent on the lower courses, the proper repair shouldn't be too time consuming. There several kinds of effective nail pullers on the market, mostly found at old-fashioned hardware stores. Good luck.
Joe
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painting is like wrapping your house in a condem. as long as the outer shell holds, and nothing damaging is trapped under it like moisture, whats under it will hold. little primer in the hole, followed by some latex caulk, followed by two coats of primer and two coats of paint (what i consider 'normal' for an exterior paint job) will take care of it plenty good.
whats more important is to secure the siding so it cannot move. that said you should probably pull them and replace with screws, and follow the above suggestion.
randy

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The siding is solid, it's only a few nails that are staining through the paint.

Nail pullers I've got. ;-)

Painted, but I haven't tested for latex vs oil.
Thanks for the advice, folks. Looks like I'll pull the offenders, replace with SS, prime the gouged holes, caulk, and then proceed later this year with a proper exterior paint job.
Appreciate the assistance.
djb
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